Trashing Stuff In Storms (12.29.12)
Isaiah 64,6: "Our righteousness is as filthy rags."
Hebrews 13,12-13: "So Jesus, too, sufferred outside the gate, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood. Accordingly, let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach."
Rick DeMarinis' timely and weather-wise story "Horizontal Snow" packs a distinct impression in just a few pages.
It's about a college student who fears becoming a zombie as he is just about to earn his engineering degree.
So, for a brief time in 1958, when hitchiking was cool, he tried it.
Lot Stoner is a really ugly seer type who stops for him just before he freezes.
The Lot of the bible, as you know, escaped the judgment that nearly everyone sufferred, but then he and his offspring were fouled up, something about his daughters and drinking. Then his clan couldn't get along with Abraham's, and they went separate ways.
Anyway, Lot Stoner is still the kind of guy who helps hitchikers, sharing his food, and what he knows about God, and some of what he doesn't. He also is taking care of a stray "Indian" gal "Willie" who is about to have somebody's baby on this wintry ride.
In a homemade camper shell plopped on a small truck frame, we've seen them of late, Lot's moveable parsonage.
Willie cries out and Lot had by then riled the hitchiker to hunger for a word of faith, so Lot told him, to go back and help.
So he did.
In a crisis, any humanity is gold, and will do.
She needs to get situated, by raising herself up and scooting forward a bit, which isn't easy given her state and the cramped quarters. So with a strong hand upon her back the hitch-hiker obliges.
And the baby comes out right, this time, and is loved and fed as babies are.
Meanwhile the snow's getting more horizontal, night has come, and our four communicants must exit at Highwayville for the "Mud and Sinkers" cafe.
Lot, Willie and baby Jesus Dakota happily doze off after the donuts, waiting out the storm.
But the hitch-hiker wants to outrun it and hustles a ride with a friendly trucker who says OK, and then pops pep pills.
Meanwhile in gratitude "Willie", in the happy booth, had scooted over towards him and was now asleep on his windbreaker.
No need to wake her, because, mutual compassion is sort of heavy.
The hitch-hiker gets home and his engineering degree and then comes back to Highwayville North Dakota to take care of weapons "that have failed their stress and endurance tests."
One of his gal friends turns up pregnant, by one of the nuke silos. So the hitch-hiker tells her he's still married, gives her money, and says anything but marriage.
Still trashing stuff, not knowing that a little actual faith washes stuff, and rags, and what all, right away, and over time, too.
Zombies trashing stuff, insisting my home is different from yours, and surely within the camp.